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EU EMPLOYMENT POLICY. General principle of the EU Treaties. Full employment as major Community's objectives, already enshrined in the Treaty of Rome. Full community competence concerning the free movement of workers Coordination of emploment policy but no legislative competence

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general principle of the eu treaties
General principle of the EU Treaties
  • Full employment as major Community's objectives, already enshrined in the Treaty of Rome.
  • Full community competence concerning the free movement of workers
  • Coordination of emploment policy but no legislative competence
  • The European Social Fund as financial instrument to support employment in the European Union
employment main provisions
Employment: main provisions

Article 2, par. 3:

  • The Member States shall coordinate their economic and employment policies within arrangements as determined by this Treaty, which the Union shall have competence to provide.

Article 5, par. 2:

  • The Union shall take measures to ensure coordination of the employment policies of the Member States, in particular by defining guidelines for these policies
  • The Union may take initiatives to ensure coordination of Member States’ social policies.

Article 9:

  • In defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health.
title ix employment
Title IX: Employment

Article 145 (ex Article 125 TEC)

  • Member States and the Union shall work towards developing a coordinated strategy for employment and particularly for promoting a skilled, trained and adaptable workforce and labour markets responsive to economic change with a view to achieving the objectives defined in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union.
title ix employment1
Title IX: Employment

Article 146

  • achievement of employment objectives consistent with the broad guidelines of the economic policies
  • Employment as matter of common concern, coordination of actions

Article 147

  • Union encouraging cooperation between Member States and by supporting and, if necessary, complementing their action.
  • Employment taken into consideration in the formulation and implementation of Union policies and activities.
title ix employment2
Title IX: Employment

Article 148

  • Conclusions of the European Council on the employment situation in the Union, adopted on the basis of a joint annual report by the Council and the Commission.
  • Employment Guidelines drawn on the basis of the conclusions of the European Council, which the Member States shall take into account in their employment policies.
  • Annual Report by Member State on the principal measures taken to implement its employment policy in the light of the employment guidelines
  • Annual Examination by the Council of the implementation of the employment policies and possible recommendations to Member States.
  • Joint annual report to the European Council on the employment situation in the Union and on the implementation of the guidelines for employment.
title ix employment3
Title IX: Employment

Article 149

  • Adoption of incentive measures to encourage cooperation between Member States and to support their action in the field of employment through initiatives aimed at developing exchanges of information and best practices.
  • Those measures shall not include harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States

Article 150

  • Establishment of the Employment Committee to monitor the employment situation and employment policies in the Member States, and to formulate opinions
eu employment legislation
EU Employment legislation

The EU employment legislation defines minimum requirements in the fields of working and employment conditions and the information and consultation of workers and guarantees minimum levels of protection that apply to everyone living and working in the EU. Areas of intervention: 

  • Health and safety at work: general rights and obligations, workplaces, work equipment, specific risks and vulnerable workers.
  • Equal opportunities for women and men:  equal treatment at work, pregnant workers, maternity leave, parental leave.
  • Protection against discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation.
  • Labour law:  part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working time, young people at work, information and consultation of workers.
evolution of employment policy
Evolution of employment policy
  • 1960s to early 1990s: cooperation between Member States as traditional collaboration between governments within international organisations notably as regards the labour market
  • Early 1990s : structural problems and macroeconomic difficulties demonstrated the need for a coordinated response at European level.
  • White Paper of 1993 on growth, competitiveness and employment: first step towards genuine cooperation at European level.
amsterdam treaty of 1997
Amsterdam Treaty of 1997
  • New chapter on employment which, while safeguarding the powers of the Member States in the field of employment policy, enshrines the Community approach in an overall manner.
  • Focus on a coordinated employment strategy.
  • Promotion of a skilled labour force and a labour market which is more responsive to economic change becomes a "matter of common interest".
  • The establishment of an Employment Committee and of qualified majority vote in areas relating to employment, which facilitates decision making.
the european employment strategy
The European Employment Strategy
  • The Luxembourg Jobs Summit in November 1997: launching the European Employment Strategy (EES), to reduce unemployment significantly within five years at European level.
  • The EES establishes a multilateral surveillance framework to encourage Member States to put into place effective policies, notably a joint annual report on employment and employment guidelines.
  • The EES is the basis for the National Action Plans (NAPs) prepared by the Member States, and recommendations of the Council of Ministers to the different Member States
the european employment strategy1
The European Employment Strategy

Introducing "the Open Method of Coordination (OMC)“ in order to:

  • create a balance between Community and Member States responsability (the subsidiarity principle),
  • establish quantified common targets to be achieved at Community level,
  • put into place Community-level surveillance encouraged by pooling experience.
european employment strategy
European Employment Strategy


  • combating long-term unemployment, youth unemployment, modernising education and training systems, active monitoring of the unemployed, reducing the numbers dropping out of the education system early by 50%


  • establishing clear, stable and predictable rules concerning the start-up and running of businesses and the simplification of administrative burdens on SMEs. reducing costs of hiring an additional worker, facilitating easier transition to self-employment and the setting up of micro-enterprises, the development of the markets for venture capital to facilitate the financing of SMEs, and the reduction of tax burdens on employment before 2000;


  • modernising work organisation and flexibility of working arrangements and putting in place of a framework for more adaptable forms of contracts; creation of sustainable jobs and efficiently functioning labour markets;

equal opportunities:

  • combating the gender gap and supporting the increased employment of women, by implementing family/business reconciliation policies; facilitating return to work, in particular for women.
2000 the lisbon strategy
2000: the Lisbon Strategy
  • 2000 Lisbon European Council: new global strategy to make Europe "the most competitive and most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth accompanied by quantitative and qualitative improvement of employment and greater social cohesion" within ten years.
  • 2002 Barcelona European Council: reinforcement of the EES as an instrument and a key component of the Lisbon strategy in an enlarged Europe.
the lisbon strategy the objectives
The Lisbon Strategy: the objectives
  • Make Europe more attractive for investments
  • Growth based on knowledge and innovation
  • Fostering the creation of new and better jobs
the lisbon strategy and employment
The Lisbon Strategy and employment

To create more and better jobs, the Commission intends to:

  • attract more people to the employment market and modernise social protection systems, through the implementation by Member States and social partners of policies encouraging workers to remain active and dissuade them from leaving the world of work prematurely.
  • improve the adaptability of the workforce and business sector, and increase the flexibility of the labour markets in order to help Europe adjust to restructuring and market changes.
  • Invest more in human capital by improving education and skills, and by adopting a Community lifelong learning programme.
lisbon strategy employment policy guidelines 17 24
Lisbon strategy: employment policy guidelines (17-24)
  • Implement employment policies intended to achieve full employment, improve quality and productivity at work, and strengthen social and territorial cohesion
  • Promote a new lifecycle approach to work
  • Ensure inclusive labour markets, enhance work attractiveness, and make work pay attractive for job-seekers, including disadvantaged people and the inactive
  • Improve matching of labour market needs
  • Promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation
  • Ensure employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage-setting mechanisms
  • Expand and improve investment in human capital
  • Adapt education and training systems in response to new competence requirements
lisbon strategy employment targets
Lisbon Strategy: employment targets
  • 70% Employment rate (age group 15-64)
  • 60% Women employment rate (age group 15-64)
  • 50% Old workers employment rate (age group 55-64)
europe 2020 new strategy for growth and jobs
Europe 2020: new strategy for growth and jobs

A new strategy which should enable the European Union (EU) to achieve growth that is:

  • smart, through the development of knowledge and innovation;
  • sustainable, based on a greener, more resource efficient and more competitive economy;
  • inclusive, aimed at strengthening employment, and social and territorial cohesion.
europe 2020
Europe 2020
  • The strategy is to be presented through 10 integrated guidelines adopted by the June 2010 European Council, replacing the 24 broad economic policy guidelines and the employment guidelines.
  • The Council may also address policy recommendations to EU countries on economic and budget matters, and all of the thematic areas covered by the strategy.
  • Strategy is to be implemented by the national, regional and local authorities of the EU countries, associating national parliaments, social partners and civil society. Actions to raise awareness are to be conducted among European citizens.
  • The Commission shall be responsible for monitoring progress. It shall present yearly reports, including reports on the achievements of the stability and convergence programmes.
eu 2020 5 targets to be achieved by 2020
EU 2020: 5 targets to be achieved by 2020
  • increasing the employment rate of population aged 20-64 to 75%;
  • investing 3 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in research and development;
  • reducing carbon emissions by 20% (by 30% if conditions permit), increasing the share of renewable energies by 20% and increasing energy efficiency by 20%
  • reducing the school drop out rate to less than 10% and increasing the proportion of tertiary degrees to 40%;
  • reducing the number of people threatened by poverty by 20 million.
employment rate some figures
Employment rate: some figures

Employment (20-64 – target 75%)

  • UE: 69.1%
  • Netherlands 78.8%
  • Malta: 58.8%
  • Italy: 61.7%
  • Austria: 74.7%
  • Tyrol: 76.9%
  • Bolzano/SouthTyrol: 75.2%
  • Trento: 71.4%
increasing labour market participation
Increasing labour market participation
  • Member State must bring the employment rate for women and men aged 20-64 to 75 % by 2020. In order to meet this objective, they:
  • promote the labour market participation of young people, older workers, low-skilled workers and legal migrants.
  • orient national policies in particular to promote the principles of flexicurity, worker mobility and work-life balance.
  • establish forward-looking measures to integrate young people and vulnerable groups into the labour market.
  • make employment more attractive, particularly for the low-skilled, whilst ensuring that labour costs are consistent with price stability and productivity trends.
  • promote self-employment and entrepreneurship. They must foster job creation, including in the areas of care and green employment.
developing a skilled workforce
Developing a skilled workforce
  • Developing new skills that correspond to labour market needs should enable productivity and employability of workers to be increased.
  • Member States must extend the capacity of education and training systems and foster their adaptation to societal trends towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy.
  • Measures taken must ensure quality of initial education and lifelong training opportunities.
  • Training must be open to low-skilled or highly skilled workers, and be organised in cooperation with social partners and enterprises.
  • Member States should also encourage labour mobility, namely through systems for recognising acquired competencies.
combating social exclusion
Combating social exclusion
  • The Europe 2020 strategy promotes social inclusion and combats poverty, in order that 20 million people will no longer be confronted with the risk of poverty and exclusion in the next 10 years.
  • Member States should pay particular attention to the employment of those furthest away from the labour market. Measures taken must empower people, but must also combat in-work poverty.
  • National policies must provide guarantees of access to affordable, sustainable and high quality services, including in the social sector, and must ensure that social protection and pension systems are modernised and viable.
  • Member States shall support the social economy and social innovation, fostering equal opportunities and combating discrimination.
seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at european level and in eu countries
Seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at European level and in EU countries:
  • the Innovation Union, to support the production of innovative products and services, in particular concerning climate change, energy efficiency, health and the ageing population;
  • the Digital Agenda for Europe initiative, to promote the creation of a digital single market, characterised by a high level of trust and a clear legal framework. Furthermore, fast and subsequently ultra fast internet should be accessible to the population as a whole;
  • the Resource-efficient Europe initiative, to support the sustainable management of resources and the reduction of carbon emissions, while maintaining the competitiveness of the European economy and its energy security;
  • the industrial policy for the globalisation era initiative, to help businesses to overcome the economic crisis, integrate into world trade and adopt more environmentally-friendly production methods;
seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at european level and in eu countries1
Seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at European level and in EU countries:
  • the Youth on the move initiative, to enhance the performance of education systems, non-formal and informal learning, student and researcher mobility, but also young people’s entry to the labour market;
  • the agenda for new skills and jobs, to improve employment and the sustainability of social models. The aim is to encourage the strategies of flexicurity, worker and student training, but also gender equality and the employment of older workers;
  • the European Platform against Poverty, to increase cooperation between EU countries, and to follow the Open Method of Coordination in the areas of social exclusion and social protection. The objective of the Platform is to be the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU, and the social inclusion of people experiencing poverty.
youth on the move
Youth on the Move


  • Young people at the centre of the EU's agenda
  • High levels of education and skills in line with labour market needs, adaptability and creativity
  • Inclusive labour markets and active involvement in society.
  • Urgent action needed to address the challenges faced by young people:
    • Developing modern education and training systems to deliver key competences and excellence, promoting the attractiveness of higher education for the knowledge economy, supporting a strong development of transnational learning and job mobility for young people
    • Help to get the first job and start a career, widen access to employment opportunities , support youth at risk, provide adequate social safety nets for young people
flagship an agenda for new skills and jobs
Flagship: ‘An agenda for new skills and jobs’


  • raising employment levels
  • raising labour productivity
  • empowering people through the acquisition of new skills to adapt to new conditions and potential career shifts
  • ensuring the sustainability of the European social models
  • future initiatives in relation to flexicurity, skills development and labour law and to strengthen the capacity of social partners through social dialogue
eu financial instruments for employment
EU financial instruments for employment
  • PROGRESS programme
  • The European Globalisation Fund
  • The European Social Fund
employment financial instrument progress
Employment financial instrument:Progress
  • Support financially the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, as set out in the Social Agenda.
  • Contributes to the achievement of the EU Growth and Jobs Strategy.
  • Targets Member States, local and regional authorities, public employment services and national statistics offices. Specialised bodies, universities and research institutes, as well as the social partners and non-governmental organisations can participate.
  • The Commission selects the projects to fund either through calls for tender or through calls for proposals. It provides a maximum of 80% co-financing with some exceptions.
  • Global budget of € 743,25 million for seven years (2007-2013).
employment financial instrument progress1
Employment financial instrument:Progress


  • to improve knowledge and understanding of the social situation of the Member States through analysis, evaluation and close monitoring of policies;
  • to support the development of statistical tools and methods and common indicators;
  • to support and monitor the implementation of legislation and policy objectives;
  • to promote networking, mutual learning, and the identification and dissemination of good practice at EU level;
  • to make stakeholders and the general public aware of European Union (EU) policies in the fields of employment, social protection and inclusion, working conditions, diversity and non-discrimination, and equality between men and women;
  • to boost the capacity of the key EU networks to promote and support EU policies.
employment financial instrument progress2
Employment financial instrument:Progress

The programme is divided into the following five sections:

  • employment;
  • social protection and inclusion;
  • working conditions;
  • diversity and combating discrimination;
  • equality between women and men.

The programme will finance the following types of action:

  • analyses;
  • mutual learning, awareness-raising and dissemination activities;
  • support for the main players: creating networks of specialist bodies and observatories at EU level, staff exchanges between national administrations and cooperation with international institutions.
employment financial instruments the european globalisation adjustment fund
Employment financial instruments:The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
  • The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) support workers who lose their jobs as a result of changing global trade patterns so that they can fin another job as quickly as possible.
  • EGF intervenes when a large enterprise shuts down or a factory is relocated to a country outside the EU, or a whole sector loses many jobs in a region, to help the redundant workers to find new jobs.
  • The EGF can be used also for workers made redundant as a result of the current financial and economic crisis in addition to those losing their job because of changes in global trade patterns.
  • Budget: max € 500 million per year available to finance such interventions
employment financial instruments the european globalisation adjustment fund1
Employment financial instruments:The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

The EGF can fund active labour market measures focused entirely on helping the workers made redundant as a result of globalisation, for example through:

  • job-search assistance, occupational guidance, tailor-made training and re-training including IT skills and certification of acquired experience, outplacement assistance and entrepreneurship promotion or aid for self-employment,
  • special time-limited measures, such as job-search allowances, mobility allowances or allowances to individuals participating in lifelong learning and training activities.
employment financial instruments the european social fund
Employment financial instruments: the European Social Fund
  • Financial Instrument to reach employment objectives foreseen in the Treaties
  • Financial instrument to support cohesion policy, together with the other structural funds.
employment financial instruments the european social fund1
Employment financial instruments: the European Social Fund
  • The ESF support the policies of Member States to refocus the Lisbon Strategy on growth and employment, in line with the European Employment Strategy (EES), and the employment policy guidelines.

More specifically, the ESF aims at:

  • reaching full employment;
  • increasing quality and productivity at work;
  • promoting social inclusion (in particular the access of disadvantaged people to employment);
  • reducing national, regional and local employment disparities.
articulation of interventions
Articulation of interventions

Community Support Framework (CSF):

  • defines objectives and guidelines of intervention
  • Is articulated in prioritary axis
  • It covers seven years

Operational Programme (national/regional):

  • defines concrete interventions to implement the CSF, in line with objectives and priorities.
  • It covers seven years
  • It can be regional, national or thematic
esf 2007 2013 territorial objectives
ESF 2007-2013: territorial objectives
  • Convergence:Support growth and job creation in the least developed Member States and regions
    • Regions with GDP pro capite below 75% of EU average
  • Regional Competitiveness and Employment: Helping regions and people to anticipate and respond to change
    • All the other regions
  • Territorial co-operation: Promoting a balanced integration of the European Union territory
esf priorities c onvergence and regional competitiveness and employment i
ESF priorities : Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment (I)
  • Adaptability of workers and enterprises:
    • Development and implementation of lifelong learning strategies and systems, dissemination of ICT and management skills, promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation. Focus on enterprises and low skilled and older workers
    • Anticipation and positive management of change through work organisation, identification of future skill needs and support to workers affected by restructuring
esf priorities convergence and regional competitiveness and employment ii
ESF priorities : Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and employment (II)
  • Enhancing access to employment:
    • Modernisation of labour market institutions
    • Active and preventive measures ensuring early identification of needs
    • Participation and progress of women in employment, reduce gender segregation, reconcile work and private life
    • Strengthen social integration and employment of migrants
esf priorities c onvergence and regional competitiveness and employment iii
ESF priorities : Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment (III)
  • Reinforcing social inclusion of people at disadvantage and combating discrimination:
    • pathways to integration in employment through employability measures and accompanying actions and social support and care services
    • diversity in the workplace and awareness raising and involvement of local communities and enterprises to combat discrimination
esf priorities c onvergence and regional competitiveness and employment iv
ESF priorities : Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment (IV)
  • Investment in human capital:
    • reforms in Education and Training systems to increase relevance to the Labour Market, update teachers' skills
    • Increased participation in Education and Training to reduce early school leaving and increase access to initial vocational and tertiary education
    • development of human potential in research and innovation
esf priorities c onvergence and regional competitiveness and employment
ESF priorities : Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment
  • V: Fostering trans-national, trans-regional and cross border cooperation; promoting partnerships.
  • VI: Strengthening institutional capacity and efficiency in order to contribute to good governance (only convergence regions)
esf budget 2007 2013
ESF Budget 2007-2013
  • EUR 307,619 billion: Total Budget for structural funds (35,5% of Community budget)
  • EUR 251,33 billion for Convergence (including 61,518 billion € for cohesion fund).
  • EUR 48.789 billion for regional competitiveness and employment (including EUR 10.385 billion for regions where aid is gradually being phased out).
  • EUR 7.5 billion for Territorial cooperation